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xrmn002
Aug. 6, 2011, 11:21 PM
Looking at buying a dressage horse who had changes in his hocks at a young age. I'm told it's never bothered him and he's been shown with great scores at upper levels.

Need some advice- would you still consider purchasing this horse? What precautionary measures would you take if any? I've already got one horse with issues that should have been disclosed so I'm a little sensitive on this one.

dressurpferd01
Aug. 6, 2011, 11:59 PM
Age, level of training?

indyblue
Aug. 7, 2011, 12:24 AM
And price bracket?

Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider
Aug. 7, 2011, 01:03 AM
And what sort of changes, and where? Lame or not lame when found? What are great scores? What level?

So they were identified at a young age. What age? How old now? Recent xrays compared to xrays at young age? Since changes identified received hock injects or not? How often?

Nearly all dressage horses and other performance horses will eventually have fused hocks. It starts with changes. Goes from there.

dudleyc
Aug. 7, 2011, 06:33 AM
"changes in hocks at a young age" is so vague. It could be as benign as normal growing joint changes.....

If you like the horse, get the best vet you can find, xray the hocks and follow the vets advice.

xrmn002
Aug. 7, 2011, 05:34 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. To answer everyone's questions - he's 15 and regularly scores in the upper 60's at I-1. Price is $25K.

I need to find out more about what the changes are and if there's been any maintenance.

dressurpferd01
Aug. 7, 2011, 06:05 PM
Sounds pretty damn normal to me. Is he sound? Even in this market that price is impossible to beat if the horse is scoring high 60's at recognized shows. Horses hocks do show changes as they age, particularly if they are competing at the upper levels. I'd jump on that deal so fast it would make your head spin.

Petstorejunkie
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:09 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. To answer everyone's questions - he's 15 and regularly scores in the upper 60's at I-1. Price is $25K.

I need to find out more about what the changes are and if there's been any maintenance.

That's a steal. I'd be prepared for IRAP treatment and adequan. You can either pay an extra 30-40k up front or risk having to pay it later (or in reality pay more and probably pay it again later)

Arathita
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:14 PM
Looking at buying a dressage horse who had changes in his hocks at a young age. I'm told it's never bothered him and he's been shown with great scores at upper levels.

Need some advice- would you still consider purchasing this horse? What precautionary measures would you take if any? I've already got one horse with issues that should have been disclosed so I'm a little sensitive on this one.

What age and level of training were these changes first detected at? What has his vet record been? Is he consistently sound or mostly sound or sometimes sound?

I would not discount this horse. This horse appears to have a career despite these early hock changes. He is priced very well for a horse that requires maintenance to continue his career and you must take his maintenance costs into consideration. I would make an offer pending complete access to veterinary records and an independent prepurchase exam. I would want to understand the progression, if any, of the problem. I would look closely at the medical records myself and be certain that the records match the owner disclosure. Maintenance on a 15 year old I1 horse is normal and you want to know what is on the plate for you.

xrmn002
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:27 PM
Thanks guys. I agree- just wanted to see if I was crazy...

I want to go look at this horse but am not seeing eye to eye with my trainer and need his help. Trainer thinks that's too expensive. He also thinks I need to ride and get stronger for the next year or two so that I am able to learn and make the most of a horse like this vs. owning for several years and then regretting that the horse is getting older just as I am getting ready to learn what he can teach.

It makes sense but this one seems like such a great possibility... Will have to think more about it.

inca
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:30 PM
Hock x-rays are not a great predictor of soundness. *IF* this horse has been completely sound, I would not care ONE BIT what his x-rays look like at age 15. Now, if this horse requires *extensive* maintenance to stay sound, that is a different story.

I bought a 14-yr-old, 4th level horse 3 1/2 years ago and didn't even bother taking hock x-rays. She flexed 100% sound, was on no maintenance and had never had a joint injected. Since she had stayed sound her entire career, I figured she was not going to suddenly have a problem.

I have owned a horse with not-perfect hock x-rays who flexed 100% sound and never had a single lameness problem that involved her hocks and also owned a horse that needed hock injections several times but had completely clean, beautiful hock x-rays.

Velvet
Aug. 8, 2011, 11:10 AM
EVERY horse has changes, and what my favortie vet likes to call "normal abnormalities." Just depends on what exactly those changes are and if there is anything that would concern a vet. Do a full work up and have a top notch vet look at the him/her and you'll know right away. I'm not concerned with people seeing changes between x-rays--if the horse is still sound. I'd still look at it, then I'd go and have a serious vet check. Every horse purchase is a risk. This really is no more than any other if the vets don't see anything that concerns them.

NorCalDressage
Aug. 8, 2011, 06:42 PM
Seriously?!?

25k for 15, scoring upper 60's at I1 and sound? That is a freakin steal, even in this market!

I'm not sure why your trainer thinks he is overpriced? Unless we're missing some big piece of info here - like he takes a crazy amount of maintenance to keep going??

Plantagenet
Aug. 9, 2011, 04:03 PM
just another vote for this is a steal.
(again unless there's some bit of info we're not privy to)

I don't think it matters where you are in your education. if you can afford the horse, go for it. every horse has something to teach us and if this guy will let you ride him, you could learn an amazing amount.

2tempe
Aug. 9, 2011, 07:27 PM
OP - you dont say what level you are currently riding, but here's my two cents anyway. IF the horse can go back into a snaffle and be rideable for you NOW, then you can learn AND get stronger at the same time.
Some years ago I bought a 15 yr old schoolmaster - showed PSG, schooling higher. I was riding training level. He happily took back his snaffle and over the next 4 years I was able to work up to PSG. At 20 I leased him to a lower level rider because I didn't want to push him so much. But I had time to try things like piaffe/passage and 1-tempes. I think some time at lower work will actually be good for the horse and take some of the pressure off his body; then he will build back up as you advance, he won't forget what he knows.

Unless he's a horse that can't go back, BUY HIM.

alterhorse
Aug. 9, 2011, 09:39 PM
I'd take all of the usual precautions such as having a comprehensive PPE, trial him if possible, and have another pair of experienced eyes take a look at him under saddle.

I'd ask questions about his history, and ask about why the current owner is selling him, and if he had been laid up recently and why.

I like it better when buying a horse from someone locally who is known and respected and has kept the horse at a local reputable facility for a long time.

The worst problems I've had were in situations where the horse was from another location and was being sold by an agent . An agent can say "I don't know" to questions about things the owner never tells them.

I like to have a sense about the horses life leading up to the reason for being sold. It needs to make sense to me, and finding holes in the horses story will make me nervous.

If I suspect the horse had been recently laid up, I'll worry about a reoccurrence of the same issue . I've known a couple of horses who at a point in their careers had injures and became prone to re-injury. It's very frustrating to have a horse like that, so I want the horse's story to make me believe that injury proneness is not the reason that the horse is for sale.

As for the question of hock changes. If everything else checks out, and I feel assured that the horse has history of soundness. I might be likely to think that if the horse has been fine with his issues for this long, that the odds will be that he should continue to be fine.

Lost_at_C
Aug. 10, 2011, 09:03 AM
I agree, this horse sounds like a very good deal. However, don't completely disregard your trainer's advice... it's possible that you could learn more at this point from a horse that will cost a lot less but give you a better feel for progressive training. It really depends on your current riding level and your long term goals. It's about finding the horse that will teach you the most right now, and sometimes a lower level schoolmaster is better for that.

password
Aug. 11, 2011, 03:26 PM
Hock x-rays are not a great predictor of soundness. *IF* this horse has been completely sound, I would not care ONE BIT what his x-rays look like at age 15. Now, if this horse requires *extensive* maintenance to stay sound, that is a different story.

I bought a 14-yr-old, 4th level horse 3 1/2 years ago and didn't even bother taking hock x-rays. She flexed 100% sound, was on no maintenance and had never had a joint injected. Since she had stayed sound her entire career, I figured she was not going to suddenly have a problem.

I have owned a horse with not-perfect hock x-rays who flexed 100% sound and never had a single lameness problem that involved her hocks and also owned a horse that needed hock injections several times but had completely clean, beautiful hock x-rays.

This.

HFSH
Aug. 11, 2011, 03:48 PM
Sounds pretty damn normal to me. Is he sound? Even in this market that price is impossible to beat if the horse is scoring high 60's at recognized shows. Horses hocks do show changes as they age, particularly if they are competing at the upper levels. I'd jump on that deal so fast it would make your head spin.

Ditto!